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UMES plans to resume athletics in January

The Daily Times (Salisbury) logo The Daily Times (Salisbury) 8/24/2020 Richard Pollitt, Salisbury Daily Times
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The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, which houses programs such as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, has released its plan to conduct fall sports in the spring.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the conference suspended its fall sports competition in July.

The scheduling model for how fall sports could be played in the spring depends on the status of the outbreak and NCAA guidelines, according to a news release. Individual institutions can opt out of competing in the spring based on local and state COVID-19 conditions.

"Although it's still too early to tell if the coronavirus conditions will improve fast enough to allow us to reconvene spring sports, we want to be prepared with a plan of action," said Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick, president of Howard University and chair of the MEAC presidents and chancellors, in a release.

The plan states a volleyball season in the spring will potentially run from the first weekend of January through February. Conference championships will be held the weekend of March 13-14 in Norfolk, Va.

Football, which is not a sport at UMES, will play a slate of six regional conference games with teams split into divisions. The season would span from Feb. 27 through April 24. A championship contest is set for May 1.

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Dates are tentative and subject to change, and teams' schedules will be available at a later date.

The release did not mention plans for other fall sports such as bowling, golf and cross country.

A regional schedule will be implemented for men's and women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, baseball and softball. The scheduling model will minimize the amount of time student-athletes spend out of class, eliminate air travel and reduce travel expenses.

The resolution was decided by the MEAC Forecasting Committee, comprised of several of the conference’s Directors of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrators.

The group has been working since April to formulate a variety of plans for intercollegiate competition. The Forecasting Committee has consulted with the MEAC Health and Medical Advisory Group, which is made up of the league’s team physicians and head athletics trainers.

"As has been the case since this pandemic started in March, the health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, university staff and fans are paramount," MEAC Commissioner Dennis E. Thomas said.

This article originally appeared on Salisbury Daily Times: UMES plans to resume athletics in January

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